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Borno: NAF destroys tactical base, kills scores of Boko Haram terrorists at Izza

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The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, has destroyed a major tactical base of the Boko Haram terrorists.

It also neutralized scores of their fighters at Izza on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

Naval spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola said this in a statement in Abuja.

Part of the statement reads, “The location was designated for attack after series of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions had established that the location was being used as a staging area from where the BHT elements launch their attacks.

“Consequently, the ATF scrambled 3 Alpha Jet aircraft to attack the location, with the timing synchronized to inflict maximum damage and mortality on the terrorists.

“As a result, there was massive devastation on the affected target while scores of terrorists were killed in the process.

“The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the Northeast”.

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Police sacks, arraigns four officers for conspiracy, murder

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Four police officers arrested for the killing of unarmed suspects in Lagos have been dismissed from the Nigerian Police Force.

They have also been arraigned in court for conspiracy and murder.

The Lagos police spokesperson, Bala Elkana, revealed this in a statement he released on Thursday.

After their dismissal, the four men were remanded in prison.

The dismissed officers are Fabiyi Omomayara, Olaniyi Solomon, Solomon Sunday and Aliyu Mukaila. They were arrested by the Lagos police command after killing two suspects they arrested at Iba, Lagos.

The suspects, who were accused of stealing an iPhone max valued at N450,000, were killed by the officers after they were arrested.

After the murder whose video went viral, Zubairu Muazu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, gave a directive that the officers should be investigated.

The officers were found guilty after being tried on three-count charge in the police trial.

Elkana said, “they were tried on three count charges bothering on discreditable conduct; unlawful and unnecessary exercise of authority; and damage to article.”

“The four policemen were found guilty and awarded the punishment of dismissal from service and prosecution.

Read also: Nigeria speaks after Congolese govt ejects ambassador from residence

“They were subsequently handed over to Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba for prosecution in conventional court.”

The ex-officers were arraigned in Magistrate Court 5 Ebute Meta on Thursday.

They were arraigned for conspiracy and murder and thereafter remanded in Ikoyi prison.

But the case has been adjourned to September 23, for advice by the director of public prosecution.

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Tribunal dismisses HDP petition against Buhari’s reelection

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The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Thursday dismissed the petition of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP’s) challenging the conduct of the February 23, presidential election which returned President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office.

HDP presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Owuru and his party, HDP had on March 7 filed their petition seeking the nullification of President Buhari’s election on grounds that the conduct of the election on February 23 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was illegal, null and void on account of its shift from February 16 to 23.

They also asked the five man panel to declare them winner of the presidential poll having been elected president by 50 million Nigerians through a referendum conducted on February 16.

They specifically prayed the tribunal to order their inauguration as president within 48 hours of hearing their petition based on the referendum of February 16.

But in delivering judgment, the tribunal in a unanimous decision held that the petition which was based on a purported referendum held on February 16, was outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal, whose duty is to determine whether a person was validly elected into office of the president of Nigeria or not.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, who delivered the lead judgment said the petition which on the other hand challenged the postponement of the presidential election earlier scheduled for February 16, to February 23, was at best a pre-election matter and ought to be presented at a Federal or State High Court and not the tribunal.

Justice Garba further held that the suit was liable to be dismissed on grounds that being a pre-election matter it was also filed outside the 14 days provided by the law.

The tribunal further held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations that they were excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the February 23 presidential election.

The chairman said from available exhibits the 1st petitioner’s name was number 69 on INEC’s final list and that the logo of the party with fish and boat was conspicuously pasted on the ballot papers used for the February 23 presidential election.

The tribunal, therefore, held that the claim of unlawful exclusion was of no moment and at best unwarranted.

In dismissing the petition, the tribunal held that there was no provision in the Constitution, Electoral Act and associated laws for the election of the president through a referendum and that the claim of referendum election was strange and alien to the mode of electing president.

Besides, Justice Garba agreed that the body that conducted the purported referendum is not known to law and that the purported emergence of Chief Owuru as president through voice vote at the referendum of over 50 million was not established, adding that the petitioners claim was spurious since it was only Owuru who participated in the referendum.

“This tribunal is not persuaded to invoke its powers to grant any of the reliefs sought by the petitioners because it has no jurisdiction to do so and on the fact that the petition is predicated on a purported February 16 referendum and not the election of February 23 that has the force of power.

“What is more, the only witness called by the petitioners, Yusuf Ibrahim admitted in his evidence that the February 16 referendum was not conducted by INEC and that the February 23 presidential election was conducted by INEC and that he voted thereby making the claims and reliefs of the petitioners sought from the tribunal to be flying in the air and not grant-able”.

The tribunal further held that the claim of the petitioners that INEC has no power to postpone election is absurd because of the relevant laws that empowers the electoral body to shift election and appoint a date for the election and that the petitioners only demonstrated lack of knowledge of the electoral law.

In conclusion, Justice Garba said that the petition is vexatious, lacking in merit, liable for dismissal and consequently dismissed having failed in all fronts.

HDP petition was the first to be instituted against the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23 Presidential Election.

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Boko Haram kills, recaptures northern Borno

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Two Local Government Areas of Gubio and Magumeri in Northern Borno Senatorial District are currently under the control of Boko Haram when the insurgents in their large number launched a coordinated attack on the communities beginning from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning without confrontation.

Houses razed as Boko Haram reclaims Borno council areas Both Gubio and Magumeri have no military presence as troops were withdrawn recently for routine operational changes as enshrined in the Rules of Engagement.

Our Correspondent gathered that hundreds of thousands of residents have been displaced while others are under the captivity of insurgents, especially those who chose not to flee the attacks.

In Gubio, the insurgents on Wednesday evening invaded the Council Headquarters shooting sporadically, posing fear that scores of residents were killed and injured with setting ablaze of houses.

Confirming the incident, the Caretaker Chairman of Gubio, Hon Zanna Modu Gubio said, the insurgents stormed Gubio town at about 6 pm, performed their maghrib prayers at about 6:30 pm and wreaked havoc on innocent civilians with setting ablaze houses and public structures.

The Caretaker Chairman who spoke to our Correspondent while in Maiduguri during the attack said: “It is unfortunate that a week after deadly attack which took place in Gubio that led to the withdrawal of troops, another armed insurgent stormed Gubio town at about 6 pm, performed their maghrib prayers at about 6:30 pm in Gubio Mosque before wrecked havoc on innocent civilians with setting ablaze of houses and public structures.

“I am presently in Maiduguri for the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed Commissioners, and all of a sudden, I started receiving distress calls that my people are under Boko Haram attack.

“Although I cannot give you the actual number of casualties for now, from all indications and the reports I have so far, the insurgents have taken over Gubio shooting at sight and burning structures without confrontation,” Gubio lamented.

Also in Magumeri, the insurgents, before taking over, succeeded in razing down the Council Secretariat, other public structures and residential houses including that of the Member Federal House of Representatives of Gubio, Magumeri and Kaga Federal Constituency, Hon. Usman Zannah.

Speaking to our Correspondent on Thursday Morning, Hon. Zannah who represent the constituency at the lower chamber said, “Two Local Government Areas of Gubio and Magumeri where I hail from have been overrun by Boko Haram.

“As I speak, all good houses in Gubio and Magumeri have been set ablaze including my House and the Council Secretariat. My people have been displaced, and there is nothing we can do than to bring survivors into Maiduguri.

“It is unfortunate that the insurgents took advantage of troops withdrawal from the affected areas and wreaked havoc without confrontation.”-

-Vanguard

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